Sunday morning, NASCAR made a major move to benefit the next generation of race fans. The organization announced a multi-year partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America to support the nonprofit’s mission of enabling and enriching the lives of young people.
The partnership will focus on three core areas — STEM education, career development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. It will extend across all NASCAR platforms and will include both virtual and at-track experiences with an emphasis on the Boys & Girls Club locations in NASCAR markets.
“As a community leader, Boys & Girls Clubs of America continues to have immeasurable impact on the lives of our country’s youth, and NASCAR looks forward to engaging those efforts in meaningful ways,” said Steve Phelps, president of NASCAR, in a press release. “Through this partnership and together with the NASCAR industry, we have boundless opportunities to advance the mission and objectives of Boys & Girls Clubs of America while at the same time introducing young future fans to our great sport.”
The partnership will continue to focus on educational opportunities
According to the press release, the first year of the partnership will focus on “developing high-quality education programming” for children as they continue to navigate virtual learning. This programming will live on MyFuture, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s digital learning platform.
“Kids and teens need safe places and caring mentors now more than ever, and local Boys & Girls Clubs around the country are doing whatever it takes to empower youth and build new opportunities so they can achieve every success in life,” added Jim Clark, Boys & Girls Clubs of America president and CEO. “We are very excited to partner with NASCAR to elevate this support in communities even further, enabling more high-quality programming and experiences that will have a positive impact on kids and teens.”
NASCAR’s work with the Boys & Girls Club of America will also focus on career development and mentoring across several industry disciplines. A key part of the partnership will be providing engagement with industry executives and other employees.
NASCAR teams will play an important role in the partnership
In order to make this partnership work, NASCAR will engage its teams and community partners. The drivers, teams, and tracks will work to deepen the engagement with Club youth and teens. Additionally, longtime partners of the Boys & Girls Club will continue to build on their existing relationships.
Eric Shanks, CEO and executive producer of FOX Sports, and Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, both serve on the non-profit’s Board of Governors. According to the announcement, Shanks attended Boys & Girls Clubs as a youth and is now a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs Alumni Hall of Fame. Lazarus will serve as chair of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Annual Conference next month.
Similarly, Coca-Cola is celebrating 75 years working with the non-profit and has representation on the Board of Governors. Toyota’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Club focuses on closing the opportunity gap for the nation’s youth while “inspiring future innovators, problem solvers, and leaders who will make a positive impact on the community.”
While the partnership became official on Sunday morning, NASCAR and its partners have previously worked to benefit the Boys & Girls Club. NBCUniversal, the parent company of NASCAR Premier Partner Xfinity, celebrated the Dash 4 Cash bonus program by opening WiFi-Connected Lift Zones at Clubs across the country, including an upcoming one in Martinsville. These locations provide free internet access so Club members can participate in distance learning and conduct schoolwork.
To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America and support its mission with donations, visit BGCA.org.